The Language of the Fantastic
The Language of the Fantastic
A literary festival bringing in 19 authors to support rural WCWF writers teaching writing to K-12 students, veterans and the homeless.
A literary festival bringing in 19 authors to support rural WCWF writers teaching writing to K-12 students, veterans and the homeless. Read more
“I don't know; but I think fiction begins in dream and myth, and all its oldest forms are fantasies." --Ursula K. Le Guin
The Language of the Fantastic is a biennial literary festival, held on the Western Slope of Colorado. This short video is excerpted from our first festival, in 2011 with Colorado Poet Laureate Dave Mason. This year the festival is scheduled for October 11-13'th. It's the only such festival in this high desert, fairly isolated half of Colorado, and offers workshops, panels, and a community banquet and breakfast with acclaimed writers from North and South America.
The festival creates community and also provides much inspiration, mentoring and joy to our local writers and readers. Profits from this festival will benefit Writers in the the Schools (WITS), a program where published writers teach and mentor students. The poverty rate for children in this region is almost twice the national one, and less than half our K-12 students are even proficient in writing. Our writers work hard, teaching almost about 1,000 students in our Writers in the Schools (WITS) program over the last two years, as well as writing workshops for veterans, the homeless, incarcerated teens, and women in shelters.
Funds from this Kickstarter campaign will help reimburse visiting authors for travel expenses and will also reimburse a portion of the teaching fees. We've spent over a year organizing and fundraising for "The Language of the Fantastic," and now need just a little more support to push it over the top and make it happen.
This year we are offering:
- Fiction and nonfiction workshops with Rick Bass and Melissa Pritchard
- Science fiction and fantasy workshops with Daniel Abraham and Jim Van Pelt
- Poetry workshops, fantastic and mythical, with David Rothman, Janice Gould, Luis Lopez, and in Spanish, Bella Clara Ventura
- Four "Conversation with Writers" in panel format: "Considering Greatness as A Career Strategy," "The Third Mind," "Building an Audience, Blogging, Standing on Your Head & Getting Published," and "The Language of the Fantastic"
Eleven more authors will join us this year! See festival details, and author photos and bios, at ....http://www.westerncoloradowriters.org/registration-for-the-language/
These covers are from the Writers in the Schools (WITS) anthologies being offered as pledge rewards.
The swans in the pond
lift one feather
heads together, trying not to look.
Love, they say, love.
A strong word.
I'm trying not to say the word.
I put my head on yours.
Looking through your eyes
reminds me of sadness,
but love is the word.
Looking at you reminds me of love,
heart thumping love.
I think of you as a red gleaming rose,
a clear white feather falling down from the sky.
- Harmony Horzema, 4th Grade WITS
I Come from My Soul
I come from Wisconsin
filled with smelly cheese and friendly faces.
I come from New York filled
with impetuous people and Broadway plays.
I come from pink tights and worn ballet shoes
as I soar across the sky like a butterfly
with soft, elegant wings, spotlight blinding my blue eyes.
I come from encephalitis, a disease that was terrible
but made me who I am today.
I come from sitting on the front porch
with my mom and dad who no longer
love each other.
I come from Polish ancestors
and a family of clothing designers.
I come from love.
I come from dreams.
I come from my soul.
- Avery Beach Grethel, 5th Grade WITS
These are covers for some of the books we are offering as $100 pledge rewards. Some of these books have already been offered, while the rest are going to be made available as our Kickstarter project progresses.
All Friday & Saturday workshops and panels, book fair and Sat. night banquet will be held on the second floor, University Center, Colorado Mesa University. The Friday night reading and Sunday breakfast will be held downtown in G.J. at 800 Colorado.
Our mission is to foster a dynamic literary and writing community that advances the cultural life of Western Colorado.
Risks and challenges
Even with a successful fundraiser we have to compensate for problems that arise with the travel plans for our authors. Everything from flight delays to family emergencies can affect our schedule. We try to plan well enough that our workshops and panels can go on even if delays and changes occur.
One of our biggest challenges with Writers in the Schools (WITS), and Voices of the Grand Valley (Voices) programs, both funded by the profits from the literary festival, is enough funds to send writers consistently to schools and agencies that need and request them. We partner with Colorado Humanities for WITS funding, and this year over $60,000 of National Endowment for the Arts funding was lost, due in part to the sequester.
Consequently, this school year our local districts need to foot more of the bill. We are looking at a less than half the residencies this year in the schools if we can't offset that with other funds. We'll continue the program to the best of our ability, but the funds from the literary festival are vital to maintaining the kind of success we've had -- the largest and most successful WITS program in history both in Colorado and on the Western Slope, and Voices workshops for the first time in this region. The funds for this Kickstarter project will shore up the last dollars needed to keep these programs going.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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